Emerging safety technologies

As technology becomes more sophisticated, the variety users have to choose from continues to increase.

08/13/2012


Figure 3: An inline vacuum system allows this machine to extract residual oxygen from food products during the packaging process, thereby extending the shelf life of refrigerated food products. Courtesy: ILAPAK Inc.Ranging from straightforward control devices to bacteria-eating viruses, new technologies are entering the marketplace. Just as light curtains have become a practical alternative to conventional machine doors, new technologies both protect and differentiate. Recent developments include the following:

  • Some HMI panels offer optional RFID readers that can be used to control and document access to machine operation, recipes, and control programs. The employee typically uses the same ID tag or button used to access areas of the facility. Access level can be controlled based on the employee’s qualifications.
  • Smart labels not only provide traceability, but they can now flag exposure to high temperatures over time during storage and transport.
  • Packaging systems that extract residual oxygen from food products during the packaging process can greatly extend refrigerated shelf life by removing the environment needed for pathogen formation (Figure 3).
  • New sensors are in development to more rapidly detect pathogens in food. One of the problems today is the time required to send samples to test labs and receive reports back. Sensors may be handheld wireless units or integrated into control systems.Figure 4: Although many food companies want to limit access to prevent accidental overriding of OEM settings or changing PLC code, technicians can seamlessly perform system diagnostics from any location using any Web browser. Courtesy: B&R Industrial Auto
  • Control systems that allow machine builders to limit access to source code, in order to prevent overriding of OEM settings (Figure 4). Some food companies now want to prevent maintenance personnel from changing PLC code, and instead want machine builders to provide all adjustments and diagnostics from the HMI screen.
  • Combination systems that integrate x-ray inspection and metal detection with functions such as check-weighing.
  • Bacteriophage systems that use viruses to destroy bacteria.

 - CFE Media, August, Applied Automation

 

 



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Getting ready for industrial IoT; Visualizing the (applied) automation continuum; Preventing VFD faults and failures; Using wireless for closed-loop applications
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.